By Sher Watts Spooner / Daily Kos
This is not a good time to have a job in the retail industry.
If you’ve been to a shopping mall recently, you may have noticed that many storefronts are empty. Stores that are still open aren’t crowded, and there are plenty of spaces in the parking lot.
About one in every 10 American workers works in the retail industry, and one out of every three retail employees works part-time. A retail job is the first job experience for about one-third of Americans, so cutbacks block entry into the job market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 15.9 million people worked in the U.S. retail industry in January 2017, but that number has been shrinking. Since October 2016, 89,000 retail workers have lost their jobs. The most recent BLS jobs report in early April showed that 30,000 retail workers lost jobs in March—about equal to the number of retail jobs lost in February. The March decrease alone was enough to lower the job growth numbers to just 98,000. The two-month job loss was the worst retail job loss since the Great Recession in 2009. [Read more…]